Canines are susceptible to all sorts of illnesses, some more common than others. As the owner of a furry companion, you should know what symptoms to look out for if your canine becomes sick. Here is some information on three common illnesses and treatments a veterinarian can offer to help your dog feel better. 

4 Illnesses Common in Dogs 

1. Kennel Cough 

Kennel cough is a specific disease caused by Bordetella bacteria. It is highly contagious and causes dogs to cough and often gag.                    They may have a fever and sometimes a runny nose. Kennel cough is primarily an inflammation of the trachea causing the cough. It can become serious causing bronchitis and pneumonia especially in puppies. Although it is more commonly transmitted where there is an accumulation of dogs such as kennels or dog parks, a dog with kennel cough could walk near your yard and give it to your dog. Treatment usually involves antibiotics and anticough medications.  There are Bordetella vaccines to prevent Kennel Cough, and should be used in dogs that are groomed, or go to kennels or dog parks as well as all puppies.  

2. Parvovirus 

veterinarianParvovirus, also called Parvo, is a viral infection with serious gastrointestinal effects. Your canine may experience vomiting, diarrhea with blood, lethargy, and loss of appetite. In young dogs, it can even lead to heart complications and death. Parvo is a serious disease and usually requires IV fluids and hospitalization for constant monitoring. There excellent vaccines to prevent this serious disease and costly treatment. All puppies need a series of vaccines, and then adult dogs need to be protected as well.  

3. Lyme Disease 

Lyme disease affects dogs, horses and humans. It is caused by Borrelia bacteria and transmitted by the deer tick in this area. It has become an epidemic in our area.  In dogs it usually causes lameness, fever and lethargy. If caught early and treated it usually responds. However, in some cases it causes kidney failure and death. It is best prevented with Lyme vaccines and treatments to to kill ticks before they can transmit the disease. It is much easier and less expensive to prevent than treat. 

4. Heartworm 

Heartworm is an actual worm that lives in the heart of dogs.These adult heartworms produce microfilaria or babies that circulate in the dogs blood. When a mosquito bites an infected dog the mosquito is infected and transmits the parasite to healthy dogs. Symptoms include coughing, vomiting, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. If caught early enough most dogs can be treated by hospitalization and multiple injections. The best treatment is prevention.  All dogs should be tested annually and put on monthly oral heartworm prevention.  

All 4 of these common diseases can be prevented with annual wellness visits to your veterinarian.  It will keep  your family member healthy and save in treatment costs. 


For a veterinarian you can trust for all your dog’s needs, turn to Dr. Douglas Foreman and Dr. Roberta Mauro at Cherry Hill Dog & Cat Hospital in Elkton, MD. For over 53 years we’ve provided an array of animal care services, from flea and tick control to spaying and neutering. They’ll care for your pet as if they were one of the family, and as members of the American Veterinary Medical Association you know their care is second to none. To schedule an appointment, call (410) 398-1331 or visit their website to learn more about their services.